|Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. along with Rep. Kay McIff and David Litvin, president of the Utah Mining Association gather for the signing of the coal mine safety act.|
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. came to Castle Valley for the signing of three bills into law. The governor was welcomed by College of Eastern Utah President Ryan Thomas. Gov. Huntsman said he appreciated Thomas and all he has done for CEU and Thomas will be missed as he returns to the classroom.
Gov. Huntsman said he appreciates WETC-The Western Energy Training Center and the important role it will play in the future for mine safety. Gov. Huntsman recognized those present who worked with the Utah Mine Safety Commission in helping draft the format for the subsequent legislation dealing with mine safety and the establishment of a Utah Mine Safety Office within the labor commission. Mayor Hilary Gordon, Rep. Kay McIff, Mine Association President, David Litvin were all present to watch the culmination of their work on the mine commission become law.
Gov. Huntsman also recognized Sen. Mike Dmitrich for his many years of service to the state of Utah as a representative and later a state senator representing southeastern Utah.
Gov. Huntsman explained that after the legislative session there is a 20 day signing period where he can sign or veto bills which come across his desk. He wanted to visit around the state and sign some of those bills out in the field. This stop in Carbon County was among the first of these visits. "The coal mine safety act was moved along by a good many of the people in this room. Thanks for the terrific efforts. Mining is here to stay," said Huntsman. He believes with the focus on safety, mining will become safer and we will become a better state because of it.
Sen. Dmitrich said he is enthusiastic about the role CEU and WETC plays and will continue to play in coal mine safety. "The coal mine safety act is important to us," said Dmitrich. He thinks the person who operates the office of coal mine safety should visit a mine every day and open the communications with them.
Sen. Dmitrich said in all his years at the legislature this is the first time a Governor has ever come here to sign legislation and he commended Gov. Huntsman for his efforts in being available to do this.
Sen. Dmitrich mentioned the two other bills being signed this day. One is making it illegal for employers to pay for injuries to avoid the injury being reported to workman's comp. "Every injury should be reported," said Dmitrich.
The other bill is in dealing with distilleries. It will enable small industries to compete with the big distillers. An entrepreneur from Park City the High West distillery was on hand for the signing of this bill. His company produces whiskey. He thanked the governor for the opportunity this tax decrease will give their company to compete.
Sen. Dmitrich said each bottle of whiskey is personally signed by the owner.
Gov. Huntsman said Sen. Dmitrich will leave a lingering presence at the legislature. "His great years of service have passed party divides," said Gov. Huntsman.
Sen. Dmitrich said retiring from the senate has been a good thing. He said it's been like a funeral, except he gets to hear the good things people are saying while he's still alive. He thanked Gov. Huntsman for his special leadership and his ability to help get legislation passed.